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When and how does the court decide what will be allowed to be entered as evidence, and when do parties "turn in" discovery?

Santa Barbara, CA |

We just had a case management conference and the matter was set for trial (six months from now). I'm wondering what happens in between now and the trial date.

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Attorney answers 2


The court will decide what evidence will be admitted at the time of the trial (no earlier than trial).

Between now and trial, the parties normally exchange discovery requests and take depositions in order to gather and ascertain what evidence exists.

In most courts, the parties must exchange witness lists, exhibit lists and exhibits prior to the Final Status Conference (or Trial Readiness Conference). Your court's Case Management Order may indicate what is required, or if not, the Local Rules of the court may provide guidance.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


It all happens at trial.

Please understand that your question is "what happens in a lawsuit after a complaint and answer?" No one wants to be unhelpful, but the answer is "everything". If affordable, please consider hiring an attorney, even for a few hours when really, really needed. If not, try to see a civil trial to see your questions answered in practice.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.



Please don't answer anymore questions of mine. I will start them all out with a lower case "f" before each question. Your answers are not only of no help whatsoever, they are insulting, and have wasted my time by reading them. Believe me, fella, you are "TOO GOOD" to waste your time trying to help us idiots out here. You know it all-- even down to prejudging if I have considered hiring an attorney or not, if I have already seen one or two or more, or not, and even if I have a means to get to a courthouse to see a civil trial. What you have in excess of arrogance, ego, and vanity could be converted to a garbage dump the size of Greenland. Go away.

Michael Charles Doland

Michael Charles Doland


I will certainly keep my eye out for any future questions from you and will refrain from answering. No insult at all was intended. Good luck at trial.

Robert Bruce Kopelson

Robert Bruce Kopelson


Mr. Doland has given lots of assistance to people on this site. Unfortunately, with the exception of small claims court, litigation is quite complicated and very difficult for someone untrained to navigate properly. We are not coming from arrogance when we suggest you buy some atty time for specific advice or observe some trials to become familiar with the process. it would be like me asking a contractor how to build a house after buying a hammer and nails. We all hav our core competencies, and Im sure there are things you can do that I cant. The fact is that it is impossible for anyone here to teach you how to be a lawyer in answering your broad question. Add to that that what should be done varies based on the facts and laws specific to your case, as well as the venue. I would suggest that if you dont have the money to hire an atty to represent you, or to buy a few ours of time from one to specifically answer some of your questions, you should plan on either spending a lot of time at a law library reading up on the procedures. Try the Rutter group sets Civil procedure before Trial, and Civil trials. Good luck.

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